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OUR TEAM

Our research team includes psychologists, sociologists, social work and public health researchers, and education scholars. We are professors, graduate student research assistants and youth peer researchers.

Research Leads

Laina Y. Bay-Cheng

Professor and Associate Dean, School of Social Work, University at Buffalo

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Quote: Dreams, hopes, forward, forward. — BTS, Young Forever

Dr. Laina Y. Bay-Cheng is Professor and Associate Dean for Faculty Development at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work. For the past 20 years, she has used empirical and conceptual analyses to expose the systemic roots of young women’s sexual vulnerability, namely interlocked misogyny, racism, economic injustice, and age-based oppression. In her scholarship and community partnerships, she advocates for policies and practices that honor youth rights, autonomy, and dignity.

Jessica Fields

Professor, Department of Health and Society, University of Toronto Scarborough

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Astrology sign: Scorpio

Quote: Curiosity is not trivial; it is the respect one life pays to another. It is the largeness of mind and heart that refuses to be bounded by decorum or by desperation. It is the hardest to keep alive in the times it is most needed, the times of hatred, of instability, of attack. Surely these are such times.”― Joan Nestle, The Persistent Desire: A Femme-Butch Reader

Sarah Flicker

Professor, Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change, York University

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Sarah Flicker is a full professor in the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change at York University (Toronto, Canada) where she holds a Research Chair in Community Based Participatory Research. Her research focuses on adolescent health promotion, and engages youth and allied actors in environmental, sexual and reproductive justice scholarship and activism.

Jen Gilbert

Professor, Faculty of Education, York University

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Jen Gilbert is a Professor of Education at York University. Gilbert is author of Sexuality in School: The Limits of Education (University of Minnesota Press, 2014) and collaborator on The Beyond Bullying Project, an LGBTQ+ storytelling and research study in high schools. Gilbert’s research focuses on LGBTQ+ students, teachers, and families; sex education; and youth studies.

Deana Leahy

Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, Monash University

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Deana Leahy is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Monash University.  Deana’s research has over time interrogated the politics of health education – from policy formations to  everyday pedagogies.  She is currently involved in a number of funded research projects that explore the learning affordances of new pedagogical spaces and approaches in health education.

Ciann Wilson

Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University

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Ciann L. Wilson (she/her) is of Afro-, Indo- and Euro- Jamaican ancestry. She has over a decade of experience working within African, Caribbean and Black communities across the greater Toronto area first as a youth programmer and now as a health researcher. Ciann is an Assistant Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University where her areas of interest build off her community-engaged work to include critical race theory, anti-/de-colonial theory, African diasporic and Indigenous community health, HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive wellbeing and community-based research. Her body of work aims to utilize research as an avenue for sharing the stories and realities of African diasporic, Indigenous and racialized peoples and improving the health and wellbeing of these communities.

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Deana Leahy is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Monash University.  Deana’s research has over time interrogated the politics of health education – from policy formations to  everyday pedagogies.  She is currently involved in a number of funded research projects that explore the learning affordances of new pedagogical spaces and approaches in health education.

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Jen Gilbert is a Professor of Education at York University. Gilbert is author of Sexuality in School: The Limits of Education (University of Minnesota Press, 2014) and collaborator on The Beyond Bullying Project, an LGBTQ+ storytelling and research study in high schools. Gilbert’s research focuses on LGBTQ+ students, teachers, and families; sex education; and youth studies.

+ SEE MORE

Astrology sign: Scorpio

Quote: Curiosity is not trivial; it is the respect one life pays to another. It is the largeness of mind and heart that refuses to be bounded by decorum or by desperation. It is the hardest to keep alive in the times it is most needed, the times of hatred, of instability, of attack. Surely these are such times.”― Joan Nestle, The Persistent Desire: A Femme-Butch Reader

+ SEE MORE

Quote: Dreams, hopes, forward, forward. — BTS, Young Forever

Dr. Laina Y. Bay-Cheng is Professor and Associate Dean for Faculty Development at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work. For the past 20 years, she has used empirical and conceptual analyses to expose the systemic roots of young women’s sexual vulnerability, namely interlocked misogyny, racism, economic injustice, and age-based oppression. In her scholarship and community partnerships, she advocates for policies and practices that honor youth rights, autonomy, and dignity.

+ SEE MORE

Sarah Flicker is a full professor in the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change at York University (Toronto, Canada) where she holds a Research Chair in Community Based Participatory Research. Her research focuses on adolescent health promotion, and engages youth and allied actors in environmental, sexual and reproductive justice scholarship and activism.

Research Assistants

Nadia Bevan

PhD Candidate, Monash University

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Astrology sign: Cancer

Quote: “There is nothing perfect, there is only life”

Amanda Galusha

Undergraduate student, Faculty of Environment and Urban Change, York University

Seventy Hall

PhD Candidate, University at Buffalo

Nadha Hassen

PhD Candidate, Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change, York University

Jessica Mencia

PhD student, School of Social Work,  University at Buffalo

Zarin Tasnim

PhD student, Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto

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Astrology sign: Cancer

Quote: “There is nothing perfect, there is only life”

Peer Researchers

Kezia Arinka

Undergraduate student, communications and global gender studies, University at Buffalo

Caitlin Arizala

University of Toronto

Jules Ferguson

Undergraduate student, psychology and biology, University of Toronto Mississauga

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Astrology sign: Cancer

Quote: “Feminism isn’t about making women stronger. Women are already strong, it’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” – G.D. Anderson

Kethmi Egodage

Undergraduate student, psychology  and criminology, University of Toronto

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Astrology Sign: Cancer


Quote: “We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell.

Reece Rabanal

Undergraduate student, psychology, York University

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Astrology Sign:  Cancer

Quote: “if you can get 1 percent better each day for one year, you’ll end up thirty-seven times better by the time you’re done.” — James Clear

Anjalee Srinivasan

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Astrology Sign: Virgo

Quote: “It is in collectivities that we find reservoirs of hope and optimism” — Angela Davis

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Astrology sign: Cancer

Quote: “Feminism isn’t about making women stronger. Women are already strong, it’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” – G.D. Anderson

+ SEE MORE

Astrology Sign: Cancer


Quote: “We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell.

+ SEE MORE

Astrology Sign:  Cancer

Quote: “if you can get 1 percent better each day for one year, you’ll end up thirty-seven times better by the time you’re done.” — James Clear

Emily Sutton

Undergraduate student, psychology and law, University at Buffalo

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Astrology Sign: Virgo

Quote: “It is in collectivities that we find reservoirs of hope and optimism” — Angela Davis

Vaish Puvipalan

OUR PARTNERS